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One Fly Kit Utah Killer Bug **Honest Review**

by Dave
(Baton Rouge)

My experience here at Tenkara Bum has been stellar with pretty much every single thing I have purchased. So here is a short review on the One Fly Utah Killer Bug Kit.

*short review for impatient people. Is it worth it? Yes.*

Am I a beginner at tying flies? No, but I am certainly not a professional. With that said I know how to attach material to a hook and techniques like whip finishes. It has been a minute since I have tied a fly though, so I decided to try out one of the fly tying kits. This kit is supposed to come with everything you need to tie 25 flies, save the vise and the super glue (cannot be mailed).

Lately I have been super into Keiryu techniques so it was a bit refreshing to pick the flies back up. The kit that came was in good order and I was thrilled to start tying. The beautiful thing about the Utah Killer Bug is that it is a simple, simple, and did I say simple fly to tie. All that is needed is some yarn, hooks, and some wire. While the killer bug is a slightly weighted fly, I find that it casts on my seiryu rod just fine. So the tying began and before I knew it I had a pile of Utah Killer Bugs. On other forums that I am apart of I like to do my reviews in a simple fashion The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good: The kit is sleek, the materials are super high quality, the instructions are well written, and the Utah Killer Bug pulled 4 nice brim out of the "Dead Lake" in about 30 min.

The Bad: The kit assumes you know how to do things like a whip finish and to properly attach material to a hook. I would love to see a beginning fly tying pamphlet included with these kits, as it may be somebody's first foray into the world of fly tying.

The Ugly: Not very ugly, but my Kit ran out of yarn after 18 flies (had plenty of wire and hooks). I really like to conserve material in fly tying and I tied them exactly how the instructions read with almost no left overs. When I first began fly tying, I wasted a lot of material and nothing is more frustrating for a perfectionist than to mess up and that cost them a fly. I would like to see more yarn included in this kit, as beginners make mistakes and yarn is pretty inexpensive (though I have 18 very good looking flies). Could a pro like Tom Davis Squeeze 25 flies out of the included yarn??? Maybe, but I'm no pro and I bet the people buying this kit aren't either.

Summary: The kit is simple and worth it and really this is the only fly pattern you will ever need. If you have never tied flies before this is a great idea and way to start. It should be mentioned that while I only got 18 flies, my local Orris Store sells the Utah Killer Bug already tied for $2.25 a fly. So 18 for 10 bucks? HECK YES!! However, if you are more than a beginner **and already know how to tie the Utah Killer Bug** then just buy all the materials separately and you will only be limited by the amount of hooks you have. If you are a beginner BUY the Kit!

Comments for One Fly Kit Utah Killer Bug **Honest Review**

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Dec 14, 2016
Anyone else run out of yarn?
by: Chris Stewart


I will send you another pack of yarn tomorrow.

Anyone else run out of yarn? If so just let me know and more yarn will be in the mail ASAP.

Best regards,

Dec 14, 2016
Out of stock
by: Chris

I tried to order this kit today, the site let me put it in my cart, but then paypal told me out of stock, I was sad. :(

Dec 14, 2016
Back in stock!
by: Chris Stewart

I had run out of the wire but I just got some more in today (12-14-16). The kit is back in stock.

Dec 14, 2016
by: Dave

And this is why I order from Chris. Wow!

Dec 15, 2016
34 Flies
by: Les A.

I ordered a Utah Killer Bug kit too, and I got 34 flies from my yarn. Twenty five on the hooks sent, and 9 tied on the Wide Eye hooks. I still have lots of wire left over, and a lot of nice flies. I have lost 3 flies on fish on two trips out. It is an awesome kit, and with YouTube, anyone can get some basic tying instructions if they have never tied before. I have bought another kit from Chis, and I feel like I am learning how he ties both of the flies I ordered. There is a lot of value in learning from other tiers. I have been tying flies for a long time! I tied commercially for 4 years. It almost ruined a hobby! So thanks for the great kits and instructions. That said, I am working on a Squimito based fly that is really good, but I love fishing with worms, so a worm fly is up my alley.

Dec 15, 2016
No luck with UKB
by: Rob R.

I don't get it. Everyone talks about how effective the UKB is but I have not caught a single trout on a UKB. Not even when I was in Montana did I catch a trout on one. The fly that was the most effective was a plain old black or grey kebari tied with some dubbing from my cat's hairbrush, no less. What's the trick? The UKB definitely looks like a fish catcher but alas, I am fishless when it comes to this pattern.

Dec 15, 2016
No trick
by: Dave

I fish the UKB with a normal pulse just like any other fly. But hey I would use whatever fly works for you. Yes, Les YouTube is great for fly tying videos they do have a fair amount of resources.

Dec 15, 2016
Restocked! Thank you
by: Chris

Thank you Chris for restocking and letting us know.

Rob R., I caught my first trout on my first cast with a UKB. I've probably caught more fish on UKB than any other fly at this point. I can dead drift it, give it little twitches, even hold it in a dark, still, weed-choked pond and probably pull out a crappie or bluegill. It just works for me.
Fitting that my captcha word below is HUBRIS!

Dec 15, 2016
Get the fly down near the bottom
by: Les A.

I caught a nice brown trout on my second cast with the Killer Bug just below some riffles in the Boise River. I moved to another section of the river with a nice deep run, and caught nothing with about 20 casts. I put a split shot about 4 inches above the fly and on the first cast I nailed a nice smallmouth bass. I have found the Killer Bug works well when it is near the bottom. I knew there had to be fish in that run. I pulled 6 bass with 10 casts out of that run! In my limited experience with this fly, I have found it works best when fished near the bottom. Anyone else want to share their experiences? My best experiences for trout have been casting it into the riffles and letting it tumble into a pool or seam. The trout seem to just nail it. I have not had a subtle take fishing it that way.

Dec 15, 2016
Killer Bug
by: Phillip

Rob, I've fished the "regular" killer bug a decent amount here in Montana and it does work. I'll slowly pull it across eddies and if there's a fish there, he'll probably take it. Much better in smaller, obscure streams than places like the Madison. That fly was responsible for my first "good" day on the river with enough fish that I lost count.

That said, I almost never use the things anymore. They aren't exactly exciting to tie, and I think a good kebari will out-fish a KB almost every time. My main KB variant now is a super heavy "bomb", weighted with a bunch of tungsten and wire. It's far too heavy for tenkara fishing, but does do wonders on fish hiding in deep holes.

Dec 15, 2016
great fly, mixed results
by: Doug

My normal searching set-up is a Purple Haze dry fly with a UKB on about a 18"dropper tied off the bend in the hook. I keep score what fly is in the lead. Sometimes they just want the dry and I take off the dropper. Usually the UKB wins. I did have one river where they were running 50-50 and I replaced the UKB with a classic Hare's Ear. The catch rate dropped off. Another time I was getting nice big brook trout on a foam hopper. I added a UKB dropper and found I would get a small fish on that before anything big could get the to the hopper. Just my experiences...

Dec 15, 2016
by: Rob R.

I should say that on killer bugs and buggers that I have tied using black yarn I have caught plenty. It's only with that pink color that I haven't caught anything. Maybe I will try it again and see what happens using those suggestions.

Dec 15, 2016
Not exciting to tie?
by: Les A.

Phillip, I have never found tying flies exciting. Satisfying yes, exciting, no! Fishing is exciting!
I have tied some Utah Killer Bugs with a lot of weight, and using the proper rod, they cast easy! You just need another rod! My Nissin Kyogi can handle a heavier fly than most of my fly rods. What I like about the Utah Killer Bug is when I lose one, I realize I have less than 2 minutes invested in tying it. If you want to get bored try doing some commercial tying. I once had an order for 100 dozen Muddler Minnows. After two dozen it wasn't exciting. One of those new Diawa Keiryu X Rods in 42 or 45 ought to handle those heavier flies. By the way, my fishing buddy Andy just spent $1,500.00 on a Czech nymphing fly set-up. I introduced him to fly fishing 2 years ago. He isn't listening to me about Tenkara fishing. He is blinded by the bells and whistles. Last time out on the Boise, I outfished him six to one!
He borrowed Utah Killer Bugs from me, or it would have been worse! He thought my Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori was a cool looking rod. I will continue to frustrate him, until he sees the light!

Dec 16, 2016
by: Phillip

Les, I'm weird. I really do find fly tying exciting. Because of that, I'll tie a lot of flies that I'll never fish with just for the instant gratification of, for example, getting a pair of wings to sit perfectly. The fish don't care, but fly fishing is a beautiful sport, that for me, starts with a beautiful fly.

I go outside to relax my mind, whether it's fishing, rock climbing, or more likely this time of year, climbing steep waterfall ice.

I totally know what you mean about the normal Euro nymph gear. My friend has a Sage ESN that just can't compete with the capabilites of my tenkara rods. I could get a new super-stiff tenkara rod, but I don't really need a rod that specialized when the 4wt I just finished up does the trick. The fish gets caught, either way.

Dec 16, 2016
Catch more fish - More Fun!
by: Les

Phillip, I guess I am jaded from having tied commercially. I do enjoy a beautiful fly too! One reason I have gravitated to Tenkara is I catch more fish than with my fly rods. Getting the line off the water and having a more direct connection with the fly or worm leads to detecting the subtle takes. I am outfishing my buddies most days. I have several Sage, G. Lommis, and Orvis rods as well as Hardy reels, Able reels, and no-name reels. They just don't have the fun factor that a fixed line rig offers. Think about the "take" when you have all that line floating on the water, vs with Tenkara and the instant connection with the fish. With standard fly set-ups those initial runs are dampened by either playing off the reel, or feeding line to the fish. I only have Keiryu rods, so I am not dampened by cork or foam on my rod either. I love feeling the fish, and being connected directly to the fish. With fixed line fishing you either hang on for the ride, or have to move toward the fish! After several detailed emails with Chris, I settled on a Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori 63. The long 6 meter rod is a really different animal than a standard 330-450 centimeter rod. Us folks that live in the West need to look more toward the longer rods. We have the room that the East Coast streams don't seem to have. If you have not tried a 6 meter rod, you are missing out. I also love the simplicity of fixed line fishing. Many of my specialized fly lines need replacing. I can buy specialized rods from Chris for the cost of some of those lines! I was fishing for sea run cutthroats when I lived in Oregon. Either a steelhead or salmon grabbed my fly. The choice came down to protect the rod, or get spooled! I cried when I had my spooled new $125.00 line head out to the ocean! I have not totally stopped traditional fly fishing, but I am getting there.

Dec 22, 2016
by: Dave

Chris kindly sent me extra yarn and I was able to make short work of the remaining flies!!!! Chris thanks for the amazing customer service and keep it up. I will be ordering a lot more from here.

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“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” - Benjamin Franklin

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." -
Col. Robert Venables 1662

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

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